May 05, 2004


Jess with a real great post on the Rephlex Grime LP. Glad he liked it too. Must say that I've played the elpee pretty compulsively since I received it a week or so ago, and it just gets better with every listen.

Stick with Slaughter Mob, though, Jess. I, too, was most taken with the MarkOne and the Plasticman tunes initially (especially the awesome MarkOne opener, 'Stargate 92'). But the Slaughter Mob tracks are real growers. To whet Nick Gutterbreakz' appetite even further, their 'Fireweaver' is almost like a 00's Cabaret Voltaire, with its paranoia-as-a-form of resistance worldview ('Fear is the most powerful weapon we have' 'Trust no-one', 'Question Authority') and simmering electro insinuations. Ditto the bleak acid of 'Black Hole': all Voice of America-style pitched-down vocal samples and viscous synths.

By contrast.....

I have to assume from the near-radio silence on the Wiley LP hereabouts (ironic that there's so little on the blogs about it, given the Petridis review) that everyone is as underwhelmed by it as I am. It's not that it's bad. It's more that it only just meets expectations and in doing so falls short of them. I haven't yet experienced anything like the compulsion to play it that the Rephlex LP excites.

Wiley palls by comparison not only with the most obvious parallel, his protege, Dizzee, but also by comparison with himself. If - as Simon sagely insisted - Dizzee 'superls' as both a producer AND an MC, the discrepancy between Wiley's abilities on the mic and on the PC are all-too evident on Treddin on Thin Ice. Again, it's not that Wiley is a bad MC. Far from it. But he's not good enough to stop you hungering for the desolated splendour of the eskidubs. As an MC, Wiley lacks Dizzee's rhythmic invention, verbal exuberance, affective register and - to put it at its simplest - his 'vocal grain', that ineffable but completely material vocal signature. As Nick Gutterbreakz, one of the few to break cover on this subject, has plaintively said, the painfully attenuated 'interlude' versions of 'Ice Rink' and 'Eskimo' cry out to be heard in their entirety. (Nick's right that 'Special Girl' is like some E. London cousin of a Kanye West track; but where Kanye has a mellifluous spirituality [the speeded-up vox playing like cyborg angels], the helium samples on the Wiley track sound like crystal meth demons haunting some piss-stenching Bow underpass.)

There's a strange paradox about the LP, in that Wiley's repeated insistences that 'his heart is cold' actually add a human warmth to the tracks that they gloriously lack in their vocal-free versions. Any vocal would be an unwelcome interloper in the eerie calm and smoking rubble of 'Ground Zero''s depopulated carnage. I know I won't be alone in seconding Nick's call for an LP of eski instrumentals.

Posted by mark at May 5, 2004 08:19 PM | TrackBack

i'm suprised no one has mentioned the simularities between creeky door and energy flash yet.
we all picked up on that pretty quick.
slaughta mobs stuff is really good i think

Posted by: mms at May 5, 2004 08:58 PM

You're so totally wrong. Wiley is a brilliant MC - and has been ever since back in the Pay As You Go Cartel. I have a mp3 where he is freestyling over Dj Narrows masterpiece "Saved souls" and on that one Wiley is just blazing. The Rephlex Grime-lp on the other hand is just... cold as ice. Bloody boring it is.
Concerning uk-producers, it's alla about Qualifieds stuff for the moment. It's far from grime, yes, but you have to check out the new school four to the floor-scene, it will be massive (I hope...)!

Posted by: jonna at May 6, 2004 08:57 AM

It'd be a real shame if the argument degenerated into the opposition Rephlex-vs-Wiley. Surely that can only harm both crews, where they clearly profit from mutual association...

Posted by: Matt Woebot at May 6, 2004 08:59 AM

I've been listening to little but the Wiley album (and the Streets record) for the last couple of weeks - love it to bits. But I thought it had been a bit talked out on ILM so that's why I've not written anything. I might try I suppose. I think he's a great MC, very distinctive.

Posted by: Tom at May 6, 2004 10:31 AM

yes a critical manufracture is far stupider than one coming from inside the scene, where none of these splits and versus arguments seem to be taking place.
it's almost as if people are ill wishing it to happen.

Posted by: mms at May 6, 2004 11:34 AM

Just to emphasise that I wasn't making any opposition between the scenes per se; just between the Wiley and the Rephlex LPs. Wiley just doesn't do it for me as an MC; as I said, not that he's bad, just that (IMHO obv) he's not great.As a producer on the other hand, he's brilliant. Does anyone really think that that any one of the vocal tracks the LP are the equivalent of 'Eskimo' or 'Ice Rink'?

Yeh, I agree the Rephlex LP is cold as ice. That's why it's brilliant. The Wiley LP by contrast is too 'warm'....

But it may yet grow on me....

Posted by: mark k-punk at May 6, 2004 01:03 PM

got the new slimzee/bingo mix cd on at the mo
it's got dizzie rascal mcing on it amongst others .. mixture of riddims and vocalising

i'll repeat that..

mixture of riddims and vocalising

Posted by: mms at May 6, 2004 01:11 PM

>mixture of riddims and vocalising

what was that young man? you'll have to speak louder ;-)

Posted by: Matt Woebot at May 6, 2004 01:59 PM

It's a matter of personal preference isn't it, this whole Wiley and Rephlex argument?
They are very different things.
As for splits within the scene, well a bit less mouthing off from all the MCs would help.

Posted by: lex at May 24, 2004 09:10 AM

wiley fuckss dem up

Posted by: at August 9, 2004 08:53 PM


Posted by: at February 4, 2005 10:28 AM